The government should make adequate allocation to educational institutions to help them prepare the institutions to reopen maintaining health guidelines, observed NGO activists and researchers at an online discussion on Tuesday.
Educational institutions, both the government and non-government, need funds to purchase thermometers and sanitisers and to set up handwashing facilities, said speakers at the programme that was organised by Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh.
They also demanded midday meal for primary and secondary school students.
They also asked for psychotherapy for students to help them to overcome the trauma they underwent during the closure of educational institutions for about a year.
They further demanded that the authorities concerned should monitor whether health guidelines were followed properly at educational institutions.
‘At least Tk 5,500 crore will be required for developing such facilities at educational institutions,’ said BRAC University professor emeritus Manzoor Ahmed.
Campaign for popular education executive director Rasheda K Chowdhury said that all students must be brought under the midday meal coverage for encouraging their parents to send them to schools again.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya said that the government should engage NGOs to maintain health guidelines.
A Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh survey, which was launched at the discussion, said that 54.7 per cent of 576 responding parents thought that it would not be safe to send their children to schools at the present situation.
According to the survey, 67 per cent expressed reluctance to pay extra to institutions for maintaining health guidelines while 50.7 per cent parents said that the institutions were not capable of maintaining health guidelines.
It further revealed that 68.8 per cent of responding 357 teachers said that the government should grant funds for maintaining health guidelines but 60 per cent teachers at the same time for immediate reopening of institutions.
Dhaka Education Board chairman Nehal Ahmed said that the government would consult the cabinet committee and health experts before making any decision on reopening institutions.
Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education director general Syed Md Golam Faruk said that schools were asked to engage local communities to maintain health guidelines.
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